DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Sam," and I have been together for 12 years, happily married for seven. We get along great, with only one area of major conflict.
I am a dog lover. Before we married, I owned three beautiful springer spaniels. Sam knew that dogs were one of my greatest joys in life. He also knew that living with indoor dogs was important to me, and that I'd like to have between three and eight of them.
We now have four indoor dogs. One of the dogs I had when I was single died two years ago, and my husband and I have adopted two. I'd love to get another one, but Sam says we have enough. He says the dogs cause wear and tear on our home, and are expensive to maintain, especially since one of them requires medication for a heart problem.
I have a home-based business and enjoy the companionship of our "babies" enormously. I am their sole caregiver, and although I may not be the greatest housekeeper, our home is presentable. All of our pets are obedience school graduates.
I have offered to compromise. I even suggested that we keep any new dogs outside, although that would break my heart. My offers have fallen on deaf ears.
Please don't think that Sam is jealous of the dogs. That's not the case. He simply doesn't love animals like I do. I'm starting to resent that I can't have another dog because animals mean so much to me. Please tell me what you think. -- JUST ONE MORE IN MARYLAND
DEAR JUST ONE MORE: Unless you want your marriage to end up in the doghouse, please reorganize your priorities. Since you feel the need to care for other dogs, consider donating some of your free time to an animal shelter. They would welcome you with open arms, and there would be peace in your household.